Hyderabad, Dec.22 (PMI): Union Minister of Culture & Tourism G Kishan Reddy today said 15% of total land in Telangana is potential for cultivation of palm oil and immensely benefits farmers in Telangana State. Kishan Reddy said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the Centre approved the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) as a Centrally sponsored scheme for five years from 2021-2022 to 2025-2026. The aim of the scheme is to reduce dependency on foreign imports by increasing the area of Oil Palm cultivation to 10 lakh hectares from 3.5 lakh hectares during 2019-20 by 2025-26 (additional 6.50 lakh hectares). Of the total cost, Rs. 5,170 crore was allocated to general states like Telangana.
He said 15% of land, i.e. 4.36 lakh hectares, of the total 27.9 Lakh hectares of potential land available for cultivation of palm oil all over India lies in Telangana. In Telangana, the potential area of 4.36 Lakh hectares for palm oil cultivation has been identified in the 27 districts of Adilabad, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Jagtial, Jangaon, Jayashankar Bhupalapally, Jogulamba Gadwal, Kamareddy, Khammam, Komaram Bheem Asifabad, Mahabubabad, Mahabubnagar, Mancherial, Medchal Malkajgiri, Nagar Kurnool, Nalgonda, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Peddapalle, Rajanna Sircilla, Ranga Reddy, Sangareddy, Siddipet, Suryapet, Vikarabad, Wanaparthy, Warangal, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri.
A recent statement by a senior member of the Telangana Government and a family member of the Chief Minister of Telangana portrayed the subsidies being given to Telangana farmers for Oil Palm cultivation as an initiative of the State Government of Telangana. The aim of this note is to set the record straight. India is dependent on imports to meet its edible oil requirements and is the largest importer of edible oils in the world. During 2020-21, India imported around 133.52 lakh tonnes of edible oils costing around ₹ 80,000 crore. Out of all the imported edible oils, the share of palm oil is about 56%.
To reduce our dependence on edible oil imports, the Government of India in 2021, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the National Mission on Edible Oil – Oil Palm. Kishan Reddy said the aim of the scheme is to reduce dependency on foreign imports by increasing the area of Oil Palm cultivation to 10 lakh hectares from 3.5 lakh hectares during 2019-20 by 2025-26. This is a target of an additional 6.50 lakh hectares. The target for general states is 3.22 lakh hectares and for North Eastern states is 3.28 lakh hectares. The Total Scheme cost is Rs. 11,040 crores out of which Government of India share is Rs. 8,844 crores at a 60:40 for general states and 90:10 for North East States. Of the total cost Rs. 5,170 crores that is allocated to General states like Telangana, the Government of India share is Rs. 3560 crore. Some of the major benefits that will be provided to the farmers include Assistance will be provided to the farmers through the State Department of Agriculture/Horticulture/ Oil palm processors for purchasing of planting material @ Rs. 20,000/hectares for domestic seedlings and Rs. 29,000/hectares for imported seedlings (at the rate of 150 plants per hectares). During gestation period of 4 years, assistance for maintenance to the farmers will be given @ 50% of the cost limited to Rs. 42,000/hectare (Rs. 5,250/hectare per year for Maintenance and Rs. 5,250/hectare per year for intercropping) for Telangana.
Assistance will be provided for setting up of new oil palm seed gardens under NMEO-OP on 100% funding basis by Government of India to the State Governments. The assistance for Telangana will be Rs 40 lakh as one time grant for a seed garden and Rs 40 lakh for revolving fund with a break-up of Rs 20 lakh in the first year and Rs 20 lakh in the 2 nd year to sustain the seed garden. The assistance for construction of bore wells/ tube wells @ 50% limited to Rs. 50000/unit would be admissible. Vermi compost support will be available @50% of the cost that is limited to Rs. 15000/ vermicompost unit with a size of 15m length, 0.9m width and 0.24 m depth at oil palm field/garden of the farmers. Machinery required by farmers for Oil Palm that includes the following will be supported.
Manually handled/high reach oil palm cutter –Rs 2500 per unit, Oil Palm protective wire mesh Rs 20,000 per unit, Motorized Chisel Rs 15,000 per unit, Aluminium Portable ladder Rs 5000 per unit, Chaff cutter for chaffing of oil palm leaves Rs 50000 per unit, Tractor up to 20 HP with trolley as per Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM) guidelines and any other machinery recommended by ICAR/SAUs, which is useful to the oil palm growers could be included under local initiatives covered under flexi fund, Import of machinery viz; mechanical sprayer for young oil palm fields, mechanical oil palm harvesting machine, compact Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFBs) transporter/sprayers etc. with specific approval is permitted.
As per the norms of NMEO-Oil Palm, support @ Rs. 30000/training for a batch of 30 farmers for 2 days will be provided to organize the trainings to the farmers. The Industry pays the farmers for their Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) produce based on the monthly prices fixed for the FFBs. If the payment to farmers by the industry is below the Viability Price (VP), the Government will provide a Viability Gap Payment (VGP) to ensure that the farmers payment reaches the Viability Price. (PMI)